July 2017

Former special needs school teacher had videos of children being abused ‘in the most appalling ways’

A former special needs school teacher who was found with over five hours of the most depraved videos of child abuse on his computer has avoided jail today.

Ross Mortlock, 35, of Lowesmoor in Cherington, near Tetbury, appeared for sentencing at Gloucester Crown Court today after the case against him was deferred in March for him to complete a 10-week sex offender course run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC heard that Mortlock had completed that course and now had accepted having a sexual interest in children, having denied it before.

Mortlock was given an eight month jail term suspended for two years with a requirement that he engages in 20 rehabilitation activity sessions with a probation worker.

He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for an indefinite period, and is required to sign the sex offender’s register for 10 years.

Prosecutor Nick O’Brien told the Court today that “an aggravating feature of this case is that this defendant was a school master teaching vulnerable children, but they did not come into harm in any way.”

Mr O’Brien suggested that this could be viewed as a “breach of trust”.

The judge however said that he did not view that as an aggravating feature or a breach of trust, as the offending did not involve any of his pupils in anyway

Mr O’Brien confirmed that there were three charges of possession of indecent images, and that there were 23 videos of ‘category A’, the most deprived content, with a total running time of five hours and 20 minutes.

The judge asked Mortlock if he had looked at any further images of children. Mortlock said he hadn’t. 

“I will follow the pre-sentence report recommendations. It must be imprisonment but I can suspend it,” the judge said.

“You downloaded 23 category A videos. Children were being defiled in the most appalling ways. Those were real children, that’s the thing,” he added.

“Children are being tortured, and that’s what it is, by adults, and that is because people like you provide a market.

“If you’d walked past a house and saw this going on through a window, you would most likely report it to the police, but the media of looking at this, through a computer, detaches offenders like you from what you do.

“You’ve been to Lucy Faithful Foundation and have seen the nature of your addictions. Treatment must continue with probation. If you breach this suspended sentence, you will serve that sentence.”

March 2017

Special needs school teacher has “lost everything” after he admits viewing child abuse videos

A Gloucesteshire special needs school teacher has lost his job, his home and his family after he was caught with disgusting child abuse pictures on his computer, a court heard today.

Ross Mortlock, 35, of Lowesmoor, Cherington, near Tetbury, was arrested as he arrived home on the day his new baby had just been born in hospital, Gloucester Crown Court was told.

He was found to have more than five hours of video of the worst Category A pornography showing sexual abuse of children on his computer as well as other less serious child abuse

Mortlock pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent images of children but denied that he had a sexual interest in them, his lawyer said.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC decided today to defer sentence on Mortlock for four months to see if he goes through with a 10 week sex offender course run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and then admits he had a sexual motive for the downloading.

“If he does all that I will not send him to prison and he can start his life again from scratch,” the judge said.

He told Mortlock: “You have lost everything. You have lost your wife, you have lost your home and your job and you have lost your children. It is going to be very difficult for you to see them from now on in the normal way.

“I am not entirely surprised that you find it very difficult to admit what your real interest was in these video images. But you are going to discuss that and go through a course with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation after which you will have a much better understanding of why you did this terrible thing.”

Nick O’Brien, prosecuting, had told the court the downloading took place between 2009-2016 and was discovered when police raided his home and seized several computers.

There were 25 Category A videos, 3 Category B and one Category C. The running time of the worst A-class videos was 5 hours 20 minutes.

Judge Tabor commented: “Any ordinary man seeing Category A videos would have emotions – he would be so angry he would throw something at the screen!”

Mr O’Brien went on: “He was a schoolmaster in a school for vulnerable children with but he lost his job as soon as he was charged. He is now unemployed.

“He is a father of children. He has broken up with his wife and his children are with her.”

Claire Buckley, defending, said: “He has lost everything as a result of this. His job, his home, his family. He has a supportive mother and siblings but his marriage is completely over.

“He was arrested on the day his child was actually born. He returned home from hospital and was arrested.”

She said he had already signed up with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation to get help. He had also been helped by the mental health crisis team and had been heavily involved with them since his arrest.

Sentence was deferred to July 10. The judge made a 10-year sexual harm prevention order against Mortlock, who is now also required to sign the sex offender register.